US Defense Secretary Mark Esber discussed with his German counterpart Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer the withdrawal of 9,500 US soldiers from Germany.

The German Defense Ministry said that the two ministers agreed during the phone talks, Thursday, that the new plans of the United States “are aimed at securing the back of the allies, strengthening the deterrent factor, and strengthening NATO in general”.

The ministry added that Esber confirmed the continuation of the US mission in strengthening the transatlantic alliance.

The ministry stated that Kramp-Karenbauer said after the conversation: “The US soldiers in Germany are all welcome and they naturally also serve the security of the United States within the framework of NATO, and anything else that can be discussed within the alliance”.

The ministry statement said that Esber will inform the US Congress in the coming weeks about the American plans, and will be followed by consultations with NATO members, especially Germany.

The ministry indicated that Esber and Kramp-Karenbauer will remain in close contact in the coming weeks in order to “continue developing these plans”.

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